It’s a good thing to be a wordsmith and even better when there’s more than one in the house! Today, I couldn’t think of the word for my emotion. As I described things I wanted to talk about, Jeff immediately said, “Resolve.” Bingo! My prize is to write about how determine I was to see this cancer treatment thing through to its end. I felt resolve.
When I started my radiation therapy, it seemed like my treatments were never going to end. 35 treatments. One treatment every weekday for seven weeks. Seven long weeks of driving 25 minutes to the center, waiting 10-15 minutes, changing clothes, getting a 5-7-minute treatment, changing back into my clothes, and heading back across town. Good thing Panera was located in between my house and the center! It made the experience a bit more pleasant!
I’d already gone through about 24-25 weeks of chemo. Now, when I was just getting back on my feet and even had tiny hair spikes poking out of my skull, I was headed back into the fray. Let’s talk about that hair, though! It was exciting to know I’d have hair again! I was so happy about that, it supported my resolve.
Radiation treatments weren’t bad. The hardest part was lying on a cold, hard table, then needing help to get up. I don’t remember feeling anything from the beam. Maybe a tiny bit of warmth? I honestly can’t recall. My skin developed a bit of a “sunburn” to it, but it wasn’t bad. Some people have radiation treatments for cancer that are very painful and damaging. I was lucky to not be in that class.
Dutifully, I took that drive every weekday. I’d count down the weeks, then later the days. At the end of some visits, I was checked by the radiation oncologist. I continued to get weekly blood tests as well, ordered by the medical oncologist, plus at some point I went for a CT scan, echocardiogram, and maybe some other tests. I marched into one appointment and the next, using my resolve to propel me further.
Resolve isn’t the most exciting of emotions but it’s the one that helps you get things done. It makes you determined to do or complete something important to you. It made this time seem like a routine that had a definitive purpose in a project sort of way – I’d complete this project and be free of all my cancer treatments forever! (Or so I hope.)
Cancer treatment can really drag you down. All the physical, mental, and emotional effects can make you want to stop and give up. When you feel resolve, it cuts through the noise in your head and says no matter how you feel or what you think, I’m going to continue treatments until the doctor says I’m done. Rely on that feeling so you can finish your treatments and really celebrate at the end! The radiation treatment center may even let you ring the victory bell on the last day!
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